Former NFL football player, motivational speaker, life coach and businessman Shawn Harper will serve as the keynote speaker at the 28th Annual YMCA of Central Kentucky Black Achievers Scholarship and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 27th at the Embassy Suites Grand Ballroom.
The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a processional of honored senior students of the Black Achievers Program representing Central Kentucky. Dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m.
Harper is the CEO of both American Services and Protection and Bridge Builders International. Most recently, he co-founded Core Leadership Initiatives, which is a self-esteem curriculum for public and private schools. Harper, a graduate of Indiana University, flourished in both athletics and leadership, winning the National Achievement Award, becoming an officer with the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and being elected president of the Zeta Epsilon chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is a devoted husband and father.
YMCA Black Achievers is an educational and cultural enrichment program that prepares middle and high school students for college. It is the catalyst that provides exposure to present and future educational/career opportunities; instills positive social values; ignites students’ thirst for knowledge; enables students to fulfill their potential by creating opportunities for adults and the community to participate in their lives; and empowers families to assist students in reaching higher goals. It has awarded more than $10 million dollars in scholarships within the last 27 years. The program has mentored more than 8,300 students throughout Central Kentucky.
Quiera Chambers, a senior at Tates Creek High School in Lexington, will be recognized as the Youth Achiever of the Year. Chambers plans to attend Northern Kentucky University in the fall of 2013, where she will major in biochemistry.
BMW Academy will be recognized as the 2013 Community Achiever and Legendary Lexington basketball coach Louis Stout will be posthumously honored as the Special Achiever.
BMW Academy is a collaborative program of First Bracktown, Inc. and the Fayette County Public School System. The mission of the BMW Academy is to educate, motivate and to activate the potential for excellence that lies within every African American male.
As the first African American head coach at a predominately white school in the state of Kentucky, Stout, who passed away in 2012, was a leader in integrating high school basketball.
Morehead State University’s Tashanna Rucker, will receive the Volunteer of the Year Award. Rucker is the Senior Enrollment Services Counselor for Diversity.
This year’s banquet will provide an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of the Black Achievers program throughout Central Kentucky. “These 28 years have been blessings for the YMCA of Central Kentucky Black Achievers Program,” said Program Director Roxanne Brown. “We have had the pleasure of impacting the lives of so many youth in our community. We are very excited about our upcoming ceremony with the recognition of our 2013 senior high school participants/scholarship recipients and their accomplishments, adult achiever honorees and nominees, and thanking those who have supported us—past and present."
Tickets to the ceremony are $50 and are available at the YMCA Black Achievers office at the High Street Y, 239 East High Street. For more information, please contact Roxanne Brown at 859-367-7334.
Written by: Monique Gilliam